In Governor Stitt’s third State of the State Address on Monday he highlighted an ICU charge nurse at SSM Health St. Anthony, Amy Petitt.
“I’ve witnessed their professionalism, endurance and compassion on full display,” said Stitt. “Amy Petitt the ICU nurse leader at St. Anthony hospital was one of those nurses we met.”
Petitt said she was unaware Governor Stitt would be highlighting her specifically. But she said she is glad he listened to what both she and her colleagues had to say when they met with him and other state health leaders.
“Back in December I had the opportunity to go with our chief medical officer and meet with him and other hospital leaders,” said Petitt. “I had the chance to tell him what it is like to work a shift with these patients and the struggles nurses and doctors and housekeepers experience.”
Petitt has been a nurse for 10 years she has spent the last five of those in the ICU at SSM Health St. Anthony.
“I don’t think people really knew what was happening,” said Petitt. “I think they saw what was going on in New York or California they didn’t realize that stuff was happening here.”
She is hoping that sharing her firsthand experience on the front lines of this pandemic opens the eyes of all Oklahomans.
“As an ICU nurse death and dying is part of our job,” said Petitt. “But the hardest thing has been helping patients die with dignity, or you know getting them to the point and when you take the families out of it and have to do it over facetime. It is a real heavy burden on our staff and nurses.”
The state department of health said 3,564 people have died of COVID in Oklahoma.
Petitt mourns every life lost.
“If that was your family member the statistics don’t matter,” said Petitt. “That is a real person and that’s your family, it still hurts either way.”